A Primer for the Unemployed Part 3: Caring for Yourself While Unemployed

We get it:  you lost your job and all you want to do is either lay in bed and watch Mad Men reruns or compulsively surf the internet for job postings.  Neither of those options, however, is going to get you what you want:  a job that makes you happy.

As employment lawyers, we see clients grapple with job loss every day.  Some are able to land on their feet better than before and others flounder.  Without fail, the ones who land on their feet are the ones who tend to do the things below:

  1. Get out of house.The clients I have seen get their dream jobs after unexpectedly losing their jobs have largely  done so based upon who they know and/or who they meet; not blindly sending a resume to some email address on the internet.  As an example:  a client we had who was in his late 40s decided he was going to use his time out of work to train to run the marathon he always wanted to.  He joined a training group and met the guy (a top executive at a large company) who recommended him for the job he has now and loves.  Take this time to get involved in things that interest you and you would be surprised the effortless networking it will provide you.
  1. Get your head clear: A client of mine told me that when he lost his job he made a list of the things he liked about his former job and then a separate list of all the things he wished were different and then compared those lists and looked for job with that crossover.  Do not, jump at the first offer.  If you do you will end up right where you started–likely needing an employment lawyer to resolve another mess.
  1. Remember what makes you happy:those of us who have been in the workforce for years on end have a tendency to forget what makes us happy outside of work.  This may be the only time in your foreseeable future that you have the time to get back to those things.  Also, doing things you love makes you happier which will translate.
  1. Become healthy(ier):You have free time now.  The best way to use it is to become physically and mentally healthier.  Start exercising or exercise more.  Quit eating fast-food (it’s more expensive anyway!) Go to counseling if needed.  We represent a lot of people with disability issues in the workplace and I can tell you firsthand:  if you don’t have your health nothing else matters.  Take this time to give yourself that and everything else will fall into place.

The four ideas above a great starting points.  Here are some other resources we hope will help you.

Gainful Unemployment: 5 Acts of Self-Care While Job Hunting